Avian-inspired energy-harvesting from atmospheric phenomena for small UAVs

Gavrilovic, N, Mohamed, A, Marino, M, Watkins, S, Moschetta, J and Benard, E 2019, 'Avian-inspired energy-harvesting from atmospheric phenomena for small UAVs', Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, vol. 14, pp. 1-13.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Avian-inspired energy-harvesting from atmospheric phenomena for small UAVs
Author(s) Gavrilovic, N
Mohamed, A
Marino, M
Watkins, S
Moschetta, J
Benard, E
Year 2019
Journal name Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Volume number 14
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher Institute of Physics
Abstract Fixed-wing small, unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAVs) usually fly in atmospheric boundary layers that are often under the influence of turbulent environments. Inspired by nature's flyers, an application of an energy-harvesting flight strategy for increasing the energy state of the aircraft is presented. This paper provides basic longitudinal flight dynamic model exposing the physics behind the process. It shows significant power savings in flight with a sinusoidal and stochastic wind profile with active control of energy-harvesting. The active control based on optimized proportional gains was implemented for energy extraction from realistic atmospheric conditions, leading to significant energy savings for a 'bird-sized' vehicle. The paper reveals the equipment and necessary preparations for the flight test campaign. Moreover, it describes the design of a custom controller and its calibration in the wind tunnel against roll movements during pitching maneuvers. Finally, it investigates the benefits and potential of the automated process of energy-harvesting with simple proportional control through flight tests in a turbulent environment, validating the concept through the increased energy state of the aircraft.
Subject Flight Dynamics
Aircraft Performance and Flight Control Systems
Keyword(s) energy harvesting
energy extraction
atmospheric phenomena
small UAV
performance improvement
aerodynamics
flight mechanics
DOI - identifier 10.1088/1748-3190/aaec61
Copyright notice © 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd
ISSN 1748-3182
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